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Prohibited Jobs
for Foreigners

A Foreigner can work in Thailand under certain conditions. He or she will normally need a valid visa (some visas exclude working, like a tourist visa) and a valid work permit (there are few exceptions). The main law related to Foreigners working in Thailand is called the Aliens Working Act (B.E. 2521 or 1978) and was recently modified in B.E. 2551 (2008). Foreigners are also restricted to have businesses in certain fields under the Foreign Business Act of 1999.

A Ministerial regulation should be issued before 23 February 2010 to specify what Foreigners (aliens) can or can't do. This date is 2 years after the enforcement of the Working of Aliens Act of 2008.

However, until the new Ministerial regulation, there is a decree made in 1979 which prohibits Foreigners to work 39 occupations. Some of these prohibited jobs were modified or deleted.


But at the moment, Foreigners (Aliens) are not permitted to work in the following positions: 

  1. Labour work except labour work in fishing boats under the next category below. The said work which is forbidden to aliens shall not apply to aliens who have entered into Thailand under an agreement on hire of labour concluded between the Government of Thailand and other nations, and also aliens whose status has been prescribed as legal immigrant and who possess a residence certificate under the law governing immigration.

  2. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery, except work requiring specialized knowledge, farm supervision, or labour work in fishing boats, particularly marine fishery.

  3. Bricklaying, carpentry, or other construction work.

  4. Wood carving.

  5. Driving motor vehicles or vehicles which do not use machinery or mechanical devices, except piloting aircraft internationally.

  6. Front shop sales and auction sale work.

  7. Supervising, auditing, or giving service in accountancy, except occasional internal auditing.

  8. Cutting or polishing precious or semi-precious stones.

  9. Haircutting, hairdressing, or beautification.

  10. Cloth weaving by hand.

  11. Mat weaving or making utensils from reed, rattan, jute, hay, or bamboo.

  12. Making rice paper by hand

  13. Lacquer work.

  14. Making Thai musical instruments.

  15. Niello work.

  16. Goldsmith, silversmith, or gold/copper alloy smith work.

  17. Stone work.

  18. Making Thai dolls.

  19. Making mattresses or quilts.

  20. Making alms bowls.

  21. Making silk products by hand.

  22. Making Buddha images.

  23. Knife making.

  24. Making paper or cloth umbrellas.

  25. Making shoes.

  26. Making hats.

  27. Brokerage or agency except in international trading.

  28. Professional civil engineering concerning design and calculation, systemization, analysis, planning, testing, construction supervision, or consulting services, excluding work requiring specialized techniques.

  29. Professional architectural work concerning design, drawing/making, cost estimation, or consulting services.

  30. Dressmaking.

  31. Pottery.

  32. Cigarette rolling by hand.

  33. Tour guiding or conducting.

  34. Hawking of goods & Thai typesetting by hand.

  35. Unwinding and twisting silk by hand.

  36. Clerical or secretarial work.

  37. Providing legal services or engaging in legal work, except arbitration work; and work relating to defense of cases at arbitration level, provided the law governing the dispute under consideration by the arbitrators is not Thai law, or it is a case where there is no need to apply for the enforcement of such arbitration award in Thailand.



Jobs that are prohibited but allowed to foreigners when there are international agreements with Thailand or when Thailand is bound by laws:

  1. Supervising, auditing, and working or giving service in accountancy, except the following: a. occasional internal auditing; and b. type of work under the international agreements or where Thailand is bound, which the Federation of Accounting Professions will qualify

  2. Professional civil engineering concerning consulting service, project out-lay, design and calculation, construction supervision, production, checking, systemization, research and testing, except the engineers practicing in engineering and control engineering per ASEAN’s Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA), as well as other agreements with other countries concerning cross border engineering or licensees in control engineering in the field of civil engineering according to the law governing engineers.

  3. Professional architectural work concerning project studies, design, construction management, checking and consulting services except architects practicing architectural and control architectural services per ASEAN’s Mutual Recognition Arrangements (MRA), as well as other agreements with other countries concerning cross border architectural service or licensees in control architecture according to the law governing architects.

Jobs that are prohibited but allowed to foreigners with skill or semi-skill who have employers:

  1. Agriculture, animal husbandry, forestry or fishery

  2. Bricklaying, carpentry, or other construction works

  3. Making mattresses or quilt blankets

  4. Knife making

  5. Making shoes

  6. Making hats

  7. Dressmaking

  8. Pottery

For more information please contact : 

Tel: 063-779-9111 (English)​

       096-801-8252 (Korean)

       053-216-823   (Office)





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